I wait and wonder

               For those who are furloughed

               Will I go back? Should I look?

               How I ache for the familiar that I took for granted

               Even the parts I hated.

I wait and wonder

               For those whose jobs may be insecure

               Am I next?

               In the meantime, I feel guilty as a survivor

               Even if I don’t like my job.

I wait and wonder

               For those whose jobs have ended

               What can I find in these turbulent times?

               I’m not sure where I fit and what to do.

               Even if I’m motivated.

I wait and wonder

               For those who have been unhappy

               How can I change now?

               Maybe I better just hang on

               Even if I’m beyond ready.

I wait and wonder

               For those who are happily employed.

               How can I process this turmoil?

               I feel privileged as well as overworked

               Even as I feel grateful.   

I wait and wonder

               For those essential workers on the front line

               How long can I do this?

               It is taking its toll

               Even as I know it is important work.

I wait and wonder

               For those who own small businesses

               Will I need to close my doors?

               I can’t bear to face lost dreams and lost faces

               Even if I worked more than I wanted.

I wait and wonder

               For those working at home with children

               How can I do justice to both jobs?

               I feel like I’m not doing enough

               Even when I’m doing my best.

Rise up to self-awareness and self-care.

Rise up to learning and loving

Rise up to hope and help

Rise up to compassion and courage

               You are not alone.


By Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh, PA, 2020, Litzinger Career Consulting, www.KarensCareerCoaching.com

Permission granted for reprinting with this byline.

Another alternative to setting resolutions and goals came to my inbox from Robert Holden. He shared this sentence from A Course in Miracles: “A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plan that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.”  These are the four spiritually oriented-questions, he suggests to ask:

-How shall I follow my heart?

-What does God wish for me this year?

-What does my Angel (Angel Guides) was me to focus on this year?

-What does my Soul most want for me this year?

If this spiritual language does not fit your orientation, consider using “heart” in each sentence…or inner wisdom, inner guidance, intuition.

Set aside some quiet time, then listen.

Is there a co-worker or client who treated you poorly? Or a supervisor who passed you over for a promotion?  Or perhaps you were terminated from your job and still feeling resentment or anger? Whether in work or personal life, the act of forgiveness is for you, to set you free of resentment and bondage. Not forgiving someone or an institution gives them power over you. It can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically.  In the job search, the emotions of resentment or victimhood can seep out, including during networking attempts.  On your job, the negative emotions may contaminate the good work you do and impact your progress as well as your happiness.

Forgiving isn’t excusing poor behavior or seeing it as acceptable. Ask yourself if reliving or holding on to the past is helpful to you.  You can choose to forgive someone directly or within your heart.

If you feel a barrier to forgiveness, consider this alternative affirmation (by Anthony Diaz from the December 2018 Guide for Spiritual Living) to release your pain and open space for more positive things in your life:

“I release and move through this experience and the power it has over me easily and effortlessly. I let go of any pain or hurt I felt, knowing it no longer serves me or my life. I am open to those experiences that serve and support me on my journey.”

May this season of Light bring you insight to forgive and begin the year with more Lightness.

I was graced with the creative gifts of my church friends at my 60th birthday dance party. They crowned me Dancing Queen and serenaded me with personalized lyrics to that song, preceded by a memorable poem about me.

What creativity might be in you to be manifested, whether in your career or personal life?

After their gift, I shared a favorite song by Motown artist, Eddie Watkins, Jr. that speaks to creativity and enthusiasm for life.

“What are we gonna create today?

The universe is ready to play.

Spirit surely will lead the way.

Just say Yes.”

The lyrics are from his song, “I’m going to Say Yes to Life.” Eddie has recorded with Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Diana Ross, the Pointer Sisters, among others.

What might you be ready to say Yes to?  If you would like to explore more career enthusiasm and creativity, I’d love to help.

I enjoyed creating my birthday party, “Dancing through the Decades with Karen.” From Dancing in the Moonlight on the back deck to a grand finale of Katy Perry Firework with sparklers, creativity sparked my energy.

Inspired treats were a Buy Local theme, featuring products from the Swissvale Farmers Market and four Swissvale restaurants.

Related to the buy local theme of my party, I stumbled on beautiful mandala products the week before at a Mind Body Spirit Fair, and purchased four lovely coasters with quotes on the back.  Artist, Mara Carlini, shared that her art came from creating a mandala for her wedding for guests to sign.  From experiencing the powerful energy of the messages in her home, she was inspired to create pieces infusing them with specific intentions during the creation process.

I met another inspiring artist during my 60th birthday vacation retreat on Lake Erie in Cleveland. Walking into the warehouse-sized Waterloo 7 Studio/Gallery, I felt I was in another world. Jerry Schmidt takes used materials and recycles them into mind blowing, often larger than life sculptures.  Jerry told me he was drawn to this work from seeing his father only be happy when he was in his artist studio.  He shared that instead of going to bed concerned about troubles, he drifts off thinking about creative art possibilities.

My Air BnB vacation spot was hosted by Cindy Barber, owner of Beachland Ballroom in the Waterloo Arts District of Cleveland. Another creative visionary.  After big unhappy changes at her employment, Cindy purchased an old Croatian club in 2000 where she cofounded this music venue that hosts performers from across the country on a daily basis.  This was the cornerstone of rejuvenating a section of Cleveland, creating this arts district.  It was during a monthly Walk All Over Waterloo that I met Jerry Schmidt and many other artists.  Cindy’s made a real difference in her community.

What might you like to create in your career, your community, your life?  I’d love to help you explore your passions and talents.

As for me….I’m excited about the next decade and saying YES to life!

There’s no magic crystal ball showing the jobs of the future. However, my respected colleague, Jim Peacock, wrote an excellent newsletter in July about the future of work with fascinating links I want to share.

My favorite is from the World Economic Forum even though it is 18 months old. The article, 4 Predictions for the Future of Work, shares this (in the article’s exact words):

  1. AI and robotics will create more jobs, not mass unemployment — as long as we responsibly guide innovation
  2. Cities will compete against other cities in the war for top talent
  3. The majority of the US workforce will freelance by 2027
  4. Education breaks out of the silo

Click HERE for the complete article.

The other three articles that are worth a read are:

It’s all a reminder that no jobs are secure, and we need to be doing career planning on an ongoing basis.

Introducing yourself to new people or making an introduction to someone new doesn’t have to be awkward.  A few simple steps and phrases will serve you in any circumstance, whether socially, at the office, or at a networking event. Also read on for help when you forget someone’s name.

To introduce someone to someone else:

  1. Start with the name of the most important person.  In business, this would be the person at the highest seniority level for internal introductions.  If one of the people is a customer, client or guest, that person is the most important, so start with their name.  Socially, importance is often based on age.
  2. Use introducing phrases. Examples would be “I’d like to introduce _______” Or “please meet___.”   More common language may be “I’d like to introduce you to ______” Or I’d like you to meet _____. “
  3. Share brief, relevant background of each. This might include job titles or role, business at hand, or a segue into a conversation.

Example: Ms. Client, I’d like to introduce you to Sam Smith who is Vice President of Sales.  Ms. Client, is Supply Chain Manager at ABC company and is here for a meeting about our new XYZ product line.

Example: Mayor Jones, I’d like to introduce you to my colleague, Sally Singh, who is Director of Community Relations for our bank.  We were just talking about what a nice event your town is hosting.

Proper etiquette is to not use first names until invited to do so.  Norms can vary by industry and organizational culture.  Public officials and religious leaders should always be addressed by their title until invited otherwise.

Introducing yourself:

You may need to do this at a meeting, networking event or if someone is not making the introduction:

Example: Hello, my name is Hello, my name is Nora Numbers, a staff accountant. Welcome to ABC&D. (or How do you do or It’s nice to meet you)

Example: Hi my name is Fred Fundraiser from ABC agency.  I don’t believe we’ve met yet.

If you forget names:

Do something rather than hope the person hovering will go away or that someone will save you.

Example: I’d like to introduce you to Markita, who is one of our staff attorneys. (Markita will likely then extend a handshake and the guest whose name you forgot will introduce him/herself by name.)

Example: Mr. Client, I’d like to introduce you to one of our sales team members.  I’m so sorry, but I blanked on your name even though I remember we worked together on the ABC rollout. (And that person will then introduce him/herself.)

For more help in negotiating business etiquette in social situations, consider engaging me for my workshop: Power Mingling: Network with Ease and Effectiveness.  It is highly interactive and includes mock reception exercises. Click HERE for a small excerpt that is more in keynote format.

A good job market is a good time to explore a career or job change.  Would you like to be happier?  It’s much easier to make a move when you aren’t worried about just hanging onto a job in a bad market.

Pittsburgh has been in the news multiple times this past year for a top job market. In January of this year WalletHub noted Pittsburgh as #15 in its list of Best Places to Find a Job from research of 180 cities.  In October 2018, Glassdoor put Pittsburgh at #1. Click here for the article.

A May 28, 2019 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article gave highlights of more good news. The Pittsburgh region has seen a record low unemployment at 3.8% in April. The good job market has resulted in overall pay rising at 5.4% compared with 1% in PA and 2.5% nationwide. Top growth industries currently are construction, leisure/hospitality, and to a lesser degree, education.

If you’ve been thinking about a next move….if not now, when? I’d be happy to help!